Have We Just Had The First Snapchat Election?
When the Electoral Commission launched its Snapchat geo filter across the UK to encourage Britain’s youth to register to vote in the General Election it received a mixed response. The filter, which carried a voter registration message to encourage engagement and conversation among young people was called a ‘gimmick’ by some, while others praised the Commission for reaching out to this elusive audience. At the time their research showed that young people were typically less likely to be registered than older voters, with only 69% of 18-34 year olds correctly registered in the UK compared to 96% of those aged 65 and over.
“By working with Snapchat we can get this important message across in a new way and help ensure fewer people lose their chance to cast their vote” a spokesman said. And why not? With the average user spending 30 minutes a day on Snapchat* it appears to have been key in attracting this demographic to not only engage but to actually vote.
After all 3 candidates in the recent French elections used it to take questions, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn seems to have been the main benefactor of adopting Snapchat, and as reports are of a staggering 72% turn out of the youth vote this platform may have changed the way we approach politics, voting and social media.
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*’eMarketer Releases New Snapchat Usage Numbers’, eMarketing, 07/06/2014, https://www.emarketer.com/Article/eMarketer-Releases-New-Snapchat-Usage-Numbers/1015324